I don't own Harry Potter at all, in any form, and make no money off this fic.
AN: Ok, this is so cliched and tripe-like, but I was bitten by the bug about an hour before my bedtime and it's now an hour past my bedtime and here it is. I was musing over the rash of Victim!Hermione fanfics out there and I got to thinking about the tables being turned. I was inspired to experiment with the idea, anyway, so here is the first chapter. Let me know if you like it or not. It holds loads of promise, I think, and I'll probs keep working on it. (Why do I keep doing this to myself?) I hope you enjoy this small taste!
"This is disgusting," Hermione declared, wrinkling her nose as she took in her surroundings.
"Really? You think so?" Ginny replied as she wiped her boots on the doormat. She stepped in beside her best girl friend and closed the door behind them. "I guess it seems that way…"
"They're being treated like strays, Ginny," Hermione replied. She stuck her hands in her pockets and frowned. "It's inhuman."
"They are strays," Ginny pointed out. "And what they did is inhuman. Isn't this only fair, really? Oh, wait. You were behind SPEW. Never mind. You've always been a bit of a softie, haven't you?"
"It's not a question of being soft," Hermione exclaimed, "it's a question of ethics and principles! Just because they treated others inhumanly- or would have, given half the chance, doesn't mean we should turn around and do the same to them."
"What would you rather happened, then? Just kill them all and be done with it?" Ginny's intelligent brown eyes took in her friend's red face and frizzing hair with pity.
"I…oh, hell, let's just get this over with," Hermione finally bit off, closing her eyes briefly. She took a deep breath. "I can't believe I let you talk me into this."
"Think of it as reparations," Ginny murmured as the two witches began climbing the stairs in front of them.
"I'd rather not think of it at all," Hermione whispered in return. "Please, Ginny- please. Let's not talk anymore. Let's just do what we came here to do."
Their silence after that was broken as a doorway ahead of them opened and a man came to stand at the top of the stairs above them. Backlit as he was, it was hard to tell at first that man before them was none other than Sirius Black, of Black's House for Men. It was the kinder title, anyway, for what was known as a halfway home to the rest of Britain, but what was called a brothel to all of Wizarding England. Not that it was even that much. Hermione still wasn't sure why Sirius had agreed to run such an enterprise- a jail, essentially, for the former Death Eaters, criminals, and cowards of the last Wizarding War. A pound where the recently neutered inmates could await adoption or death, depending on what the Wizengamot's sentence had been. Of course, Azkaban had been destroyed, so there wasn't anywhere else to send them. What was supposed to happen was when a man went there (or to any other such establishment) after having sentence passed on his head; if the ruling were light enough then he might spend his years in servitude to a deserving witch or wizard; who had (also at the ruling of the Wizengamot) earned the right to such a slave. Both Hermione and Ginny qualified as such witches.
For what, only they, the Wizengamot, Harry, their families, and the wizards who were now dead knew.
Suffice to say, Ginny thought she deserved the privilege to treat another human being like utter shit. Hermione was still on the fence. Must be that soft side of me, she thought angrily as the figure above them spread his arms wide.
"Ah, ladies- Hermione, little Ginny- I'm so glad you've finally come to visit. I thought I'd never see you two, honestly. But I'll tell you, you're in for a treat today."
Hermione reached the top of the stairs and he took in her grim expression.
"Well," he murmured, "at the very least let me share the possibilities before you leave empty handed, as you appear so determined to do."
"Just get on with it," Ginny muttered, nearly as offended as Hermione wished she were. Instead, Hermione let her eyes wander. She wasn't offended because she'd seen Sirius at his worst before and this- whatever it was- was not it. Pawing at her at Harry's victory celebration, now that was his worst. Or maybe it was pawing at Ginny. Because of course, Harry was still mad about Gin. She just hadn't recovered enough yet from her anger to want to be in any normal relationship.
Which was maybe why she'd been alright with Harry finding solace in Hermione's arms those two or three times it had happened. If she'd even noticed.
Hermione shook her head of their dismal thoughts and turned her attention back to Sirius. The war hadn't changed him as much as it had herself and her friends. Of course, he'd already reached maturity by the time it had begun, so it'd had far less effect on his formation than herself. And if the shadows in his cheeks were filled and rosy now, could she really blame him for taking capitalistic advantage of the political situation? No, she couldn't.
"How are you, Sirius?" she asked, interrupting his monologue. He passed a sharp glance over her, though there was amusement on his brow.
"I'm well, Hermione. Surviving. Aren't we all?"
"Some of us," she replied lightly. She suddenly felt at least more at peace with what she was about to do. After all, the lion fed on the gazelle, the human fed on the lion. It was a circle of life. She was horrified to feel her lips crack into a smile.
"Something funny, Hermione?" Sirius asked and she felt Ginny put a hand on her shoulder, give her a small shake.
"It's nothing," she told him and gave Hermione a slightly harder shake. "This happens from time to time. We both do it," she finished softly. "Hermione."
Hermione snapped her head around, reached a hand up to Ginny's. Ginny grabbed it and squeezed it tight.
"I'm alright," Hermione responded woodenly. She turned her head forward. "I'm alright," she explained to Sirius.
He looked doubtful. "Christ," he whispered. "What happened to you, lass?"
"War happened," Ginny spat at him, then immediately apologized.
"Look," Sirius began, "I'm only authorized to sign off on the adoptions if the assigned guardian is mentally stable. I know a lot of shit still happens behind closed doors, but it has to be legal from my end."
"It's fucking legal," Ginny announced. "For both of us. We went through the required counseling, the group therapy, the endless meetings and bonfires and trials. We have the paperwork. I know the council sent it to you before we came, so stop asking stupid questions."
"Alright, alright," he soothed. "I'm sorry. Now, I know you're both authorized for one prisoner. How do you want to do this? Did you come with a list of specifications, or do you want to just view them and select directly from the cells?"
Hermione shivered. Inhuman. She'd been right the first time.
"Like we wanted to spend any more time thinking about all this than was necessary," Ginny said, shifting on her feet uncomfortably.
Sirius nodded and put his hands together. "In that case, you'd best follow me."
As he led them down a hallway and up yet another set of stairs, Hermione could feel Ginny growing more agitated with every minute.
"This was your idea," Hermione murmured to her when she felt more in control of her voice. Her friend merely huffed and looked away.
"I know," she hissed in reply. "Just- don't."
Hermione tilted her head in response and looked ahead of herself as Sirius took them up to a door.
"There are ten rooms on each level," he explained, one hand on the doorknob. "One wizard to a room, mostly."
He smiled and it wasn't a nice expression. Hermione shivered.
"Mostly," he reiterated. "I'll introduce them- unless they care to introduce themselves- and you'll have a brief moment to speak with them and give them a once over. Your identities are hidden by a charm until you speak, for your protection."
"And once we speak?"
"Wizarding law," Sirius explained. "They have the right to know who's questioning them. Ran into one too many angry attorneys before we started enforcing. If trouble occurs we use a council mandated memory charm."
Without further ado, he opened the first door.
It wasn't anyone special, and certainly no one Hermione or Ginny had any desire to see mopping their kitchen floors.
The entire third floor was like that. On the second, Ginny finally found one whose face didn't make her shiver.
"Zabini," she called out and the dark Italian rose from his bed in the small room to come stand in front of the magical barrier.
"Weasley," he said, voice surprised. "That really you? Merlin's balls, you've changed."
"Shut up," she snarled. "I'm not here to make small talk."
His face grew pinched and he stepped back suddenly, as if that made a difference in her seeing him.
"You're here for the program." His voice was suddenly dead. That was the name those on the receiving end called it.
"Yeah, now you're catching on," Ginny murmured, any hint of sweetness her voice may have once held now erased. Hermione hoped not forever, but it was hard to tell.
"Go knock on some other bloke's door, then," he replied and she narrowed her eyes.
Hermione knew what she was going to say before the words left her lips. So, apparently, did Sirius, as he was already writing busily on his floating clipboard.
"This one," she said, without taking her eyes off Blaise's face. He met her gaze bravely and only quirked one eyebrow in response.
Hermione was suddenly worried for herself. For herself, for him, for Sirius, and most of all for Ginny. What were they getting themselves into? But then the heavy oak door slammed shut on Blaise's courage- even though it was something far from courage that had landed him in the home.
They were almost halfway done looking through the basement when Hermione found a face that interested her. Not one she could tolerate, not one she cared for, really, in any way. Just one that interested her. They'd already passed Nott three doors back and though Ginny had urged her towards him, she'd ultimately shook her head and remained silent.
Now, she had to restrain herself by biting her lips just to keep from calling out. She could practically taste the power of having him under her heel, of being able to make him grovel before her with a single word, of forcing him to clean her filthy muggle, mudblood toilet with his tongue…it made her giddy. The laughter was bubbling in her throat before she realized it, but Ginny's hand to her shoulder was faster.
"Not him," she murmured.
The proud head jerked up at the sound and his eyes narrowed as he took in Ginny.
"You? Really? I always imagined you'd go for Blaise, but I suppose I can see the attraction," he sneered at her and Ginny practically lunged for him. Sirius held her off the barrier just in time.
"Not me, you pig," she hissed. "Oh, god, you know what? Yeah, take him," she suddenly urged Hermione.
Draco's grey eyes traveled from Ginny to the empty spot beside her and he instantly made the connection. He was exhausted, bruised, his pride mortally wounded, but he wasn't brain dead.
Hermione stumbled back from the sound of his voice saying her name and she gripped at the doorframe for support. She felt one of Sirius' hands slide about her waist, holding her upright as well, and for once he wasn't using the opportunity to paw at her.
"Are you alright?" he asked her and she gave a shaky laugh.
"I hope to be, someday," she replied and a gasp sounded from across the barrier as Draco saw her for the first time in years.
"Bloody- what in hell happened to you?" he asked and barely realized he'd stood, he was so shocked.
Hermione darted her eyes to his and whatever he read there didn't please him. Then again, it didn't please her, every day she saw herself in the mirror, so that wasn't too surprising.
Hair cut, dyed, straightened (except when humidity struck). Face bare of makeup and expression, but one side scored with an old set of scars. Lean and muscled limbs beneath sturdy muggle clothes. She knew she looked like a different woman. She felt like a different woman, every time she saw herself these days. No, that wasn't right. She felt like a stranger in her own skin, which was fine by her. The less she looked like herself, the better, because the less looking in a mirror would remind her of what had happened to her. The less running her hands over her body in the shower would shock her and send unwanted shakes down her spine, her legs.
The truth was, she'd wanted to run after it was all over. She'd wanted to leave her old life behind entirely, but Ginny had talked her out of it. Ginny had needed her. They were the only things they had to cling to once upon a time and Ginny couldn't live without her now.
Except there were days Hermione couldn't live with her best friend, either. Not when Ginny was as bad a reminder as her own body was. Ginny still looked like herself, except for the perpetual anger and bitterness upon her brow. Ginny refused to change.
Hermione wondered sometimes, if she'd shown more of Ginny's strength of character, if things would be different now. Because her softness was exactly what made this decision difficult. Why would she ever want a man in her house whose past crimes only served to remind her of something she was trying desperately to forget?
She shook her head and turned to Sirius now, rather than answer Malfoy directly.
"No, not him. Absolutely not-"
"Yes, him," Ginny demanded.
"Gin-" Hermione pled, but her friend's face was hard.
Draco shifted and sat back down on his cot. "If the lady doesn't want me, let it go, Weasley," he said, his voice weary. "For your information, I don't fucking want a mudblood like her, either."
Hermione's head snapped back around and Ginny saw fire in her friend's eyes for the first time in months.
"What did you say?" she ground out and Draco looked up at her, his eyes suddenly wide.
There was a long moment between them, of staring and wills clashing and Hermione felt the silent battle inside of her. The part that said, run as far away as you can from this place and never look back; vying with the side that said, make him pay for calling you that. Make him pay for everyone who's ever called you that. Because he was a coward and a bad man during the war and he did worse than call a broken woman mudblood, he did worse than torture a man at the Dark Lord's bidding. He did worse than anything you will ever do to him.
The dark side, the side that had been battling her kind, broken, forgiving side for months now, won. It won by a landslide.
"Him," Hermione said. She turned and stared at Sirius, her nostrils flaring. How dare he, how dare that fucking cunt licking, cock sucking pussy call her that name after everything else- she spat at the barrier, flicking her eyes to him again once more. "Him," she demanded of Sirius and the older wizard reluctantly began writing it out.
"Impossible," Draco finally said, finding his voice again.
"Excuse me?" Ginny responded, glaring at him. "And why is that?"
"It's a matched pair," he replied stiffly.
"A fucking what?" Ginny began, but Hermione shouldered past her to stand at the very edge of the barrier, staring into the dim room. She bit her lip, uncertainty sneaking back into her eyes, her expression. Ginny caught the encroaching attack of morals and leaned forward also. She looked back at Sirius.
"What does he mean?" she asked as Sirius flipped through some papers.
"Ah, I'm so sorry, I'd nearly forgotten. This is one of our Mostlys. What I mean by that is-"
"It's his father. Lucius Malfoy."
"Oh, bravo, Granger," Draco replied. Hermione's eyes flashed again and he retreated.
"What's wrong with him?" she asked. She could see the older man was lying curled on his side on another cot, his back to the door. He didn't move.
"Nothing's wrong with him," Draco began, but Sirius waved a hand and cut him off.
"He's a broken man, Hermione," Sirius said. "That's all."
"That is not fucking all, you dumb ass, blood traiter stray!" Draco shouted and Sirius merely rolled his eyes.
"I'm not authorized for two," Hermione murmured, her voice sounding almost sad. Ginny eyed her, then looked back at the inhabitants of the cell.
"Do you really want two? Especially these two?"
"I want him," she said again and this time her voice was hard. Draco crossed his arms.
"I won't go."
"I can separate them, but it will take a week of paperwork," Sirius offered.
Panic entered Draco's face. "If you take me without him, he'll die," he protested.
"Maybe he deserves to," Ginny growled and Draco turned to her.
"Maybe you do, for going along with this fucking program, you blood traitor twat," he snarled in return and she bared her teeth.
"Say that again."
"You heard me the first time- you deserve whatever hell is coming to all of you."
Hermione felt something twist inside of her and she looked away from that proud, pale, disenchanting face. Lucius Malfoy wasn't the only broken man in cell number three.
"Too late for that, Malfoy," she murmured. "We already saw hell. Now it's your turn." She turned to Sirius. "Whatever paperwork you need to fill out, let's take care of it. I want him."
Sirius nodded and Ginny threw one more dark look at Draco as they made their way out of the tiny room and back down the hall. Draco's obscenities and scared protests followed them. There was no proper door on the cells in the basement after all, only bars, and the sound carried quite well.
"Don't you fucking dare, Granger! You hear me? He'll die without me- you can't do this- I'll fucking kill myself, you mudblood bitch! You hear me? I'll kill myself-!"
Only once the door to the basement stairs swung shut with finality on the last of his expletives was there blessed silence. Hermione glanced at Sirius as he held out he clipboard to her.
"These aren't the right papers."
He took them back and looked them over again. "But I double checked-"
"No, Sirius, you don't understand," she said, as Ginny's eyes grew round while she watched. Hermione's lips curved in a humorless smile.
"I want them both."
AN: Be forewarned- there will probably be a little Lucius/Hermione action mixed in with the traditional Dramione (which will still be the main focus). And I have something other than love-slave planned for Zabini, so stop daydreaming about him and Ginny, too.